Self Fulfilling Search

What we search for is what we find.

I’ve been thinking a little deeper about search engine queries and the results we get back. Obviously, we all want to find what we’re looking for when we use a search engine. However, I’m referring to the search query we actually use and how this affects the results that are returned.

Looking at this on a really simple level, just by writing search queries with a positive vs negative spin affects what you’re seeing.

For example, the search query, Is SEO good for my website?

contains the keywords that form the phrase: SEO is good for my website


the search query, Is SEO bad for my website?

which contains the keywords that for the phrase: SEO is bad for my website

Essentially, both of these searches are looking for the same results but in reality what Google and other search engines return in the SERPS is quite different – have a look for yourself!

As Google makes further improvements to its algorithm we can surely expect to see queries like this returning similar search results in future. The semantic and entity elements of Google’s algorithm already attempt to address this but it’s clear there is still a heavy reliance on exact keywords/keyphrases.

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